Colombia

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
March 2, 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

 

 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have completed, or plan to complete, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 13 July – 13 August 2017 in Chicago, Illinois USA where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are then eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.   

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 15 March 2017; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 March 2017

This week in Prayers for Peacemakers we lift up a prayer of great thanksgiving for a successful Sabeel conference two weeks ago, and Steering Committee meetings, last week. Paraphrasing Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when teammates sit together in unity!" Sabeel, an ecumenical center for liberation theology in Jerusalem, is a partner of Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine. Together in unity, we affirm the prophetic call of the Gospel to renounce violence and dominative power. 

We also give thanks that Steering Committee meetings took place in Hebron so that board members who could travel here had the chance to meet teammates and participate in the work of the Palestine team on-the-ground. With the context in mind they deliberated over matters in order to build an organizational culture of justice, inclusion, mutual respect and welcome (CPT Faith Identity statement). We thank God for this good and pleasant opportunity to be together, even in the intensity of the context of Israeli military occupation.

CPT Reservist, Administrative Staff, and Steering Committee members

CPT Reservists, Administrative staff, and Steering Committee members from 5 countries joined the Sabeel conference, and the work of the team on the ground in Hebron/Al-Khalil.

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Last week the world commemorated the International Women's Day. Also we would like to acknowledge the power and leading role of women in struggle for justice and peace all around the world.

Let us pray for all women members of the CPT projects, for all the women in the Administrative team and all our women partners around the world. Each and every one of them does amazing things in order to build a better world. Let us pray for all girls around the world. Let us pray for a better future for them.

Girls plain in the river. Colombia

Let us pray for men as well, because they need to overcome sexism and work as allies of women in their struggles. Let us pray and work together for a better world where all women, men and every individual have the same opportunities, same access to justice, education and social securities, and freedom to live in peace and for peace. 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 March 2017 

by Salvador Castro

Receive a fraternal embrace of peace and good.

I will do whatever you ask in my name. John 14:13

Knowing that the power of prayer can move mountains, I would like to invite you to raise a prayer to heaven asking for the Creator's mercy to my city Barrancabermeja (Magdalena region, Colombia), in which criminal death has increased its action. In the last two months it has already claimed lives of 12 young people. Threats and other violent acts in the city are also on the rise. 

Please pray for strength for families who have lost their loved ones. Pray that the wisdom of the communities together with the institutions of the state will find the right actions that defend, celebrate and dignify life. Pray that the liberating love of the Father and the power of the universe may accompany each new dawn.

Farmer from las Pavas 

Photo credit: CPT Colombia.

As people of GOD, children of the universe and lovers of life we are called to be light to the world. We need and pray that the Spirit strengthens us so that we can continue following the Way and living our faith full of action seeking social justice, love and solidarity.

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Created, Guided, and Delivered for Liberation: A Prayer for Times Like These. 

by Chris Knestrick 

Creator God, 

 You created us for right and just relationships.

 You have called your people back to your embrace

                  To that garden of equality and mutuality

                   To healthy relationships based on respect and love

                   To be laborers that harvest life. 

Creator God, You created us.  

Children painting 

COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Killing social leaders is massacring hope

CPTnet
17 February 2017
COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Killing social leaders is massacring hope

by Salvador Castro 

Colombia is a country of diverse realities and of melancholic complexities, a place where violence has become a daily bread and the claws of criminal death constantly obscure the way. But, as an oasis in the desert, there exist men and women who refresh hopes and revive dignity and ability to smile again. 

These women and men emerge from communities that are tired of suffering, and being strongly and deeply rooted in the territory, they nourish joys and breathe a desire for freedom. These men and women with their strength and solidarity make the empire tremble, an empire that sends its jackals to devour us.

Salvador reading names of Social Leaders who have been killed

We, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), came together from different parts of the world as people of nonviolence to march and stand in act of solidarity and brotherhood with those 123 leaders who had been killed in the last year. With their lives and actions, these social leaders built paths of day-to-day peace. However, their steps were removed from the path, their voices silenced, their roots cut out and their lights extinguished.

But even when hope is weak it is difficult to kill it.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 16 February 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 16 February 2017

Sometimes we may think that people joining various state and non-state military and armed groups do so out of conviction. However, that does not entirely reflect reality. Large numbers of men and women have joined armies because of economic conditions, lack of opportunities, limited access to education and other situations of inequality. Many others were forcibly recruited by militias and armies. Many have joined in reaction to oppression and violence against their communities. This is not an apology or justification of war. It is humanizing war.

In the past weeks in Colombia thousands of former members of the FARC began to gather in the so called 'concentration zones' where they relinquish their weapons and begin processes of reintegration into civil society. 

Let us pray for all our sisters and brothers who had been forced to become elements of war. Pray for those who have decided to put down their weapons so that they will have all means needed to accomplish the process of transformation successfully. Pray that the lives of those who chose peace instead of war be protected from vengeance of the opposing armed groups.

 FARC member and her baby

Photo credit: Radio Santafe

COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Memory is resistance

CPTnet
10 February 2017
COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Memory is resistance

 by Katherine Crosby

 

“In spite of all the persecution, today we are still here.”

                      ~ A Social Leader in Colombia

 

Our team arrived in Bogotá and has set up with cameras, hats, banners, drums, and megaphone. We begin our march toward the plaza at the center of the city. I am holding one side of a banner that reaches from above my head down to the ground; it stretches across about three feet to my companion holding the other side. I pause to examine the Colombia shaped black silhouette painted across the fabric. Inside of the map are several white dots of varying sizes, each placed in a different one of Colombia’s departments or provinces. The bold, black number on each dot represents how many social leaders and human rights defenders have been killed in each department since the beginning of 2016: 123 in total.

CPTers stand with a banner: Silencio es violencia

For the past three weeks, our group has been in Colombia as trainees with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 February 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 8 February 2017

Today, let us celebrate the successful accomplishment of the intensive month-long training for peacemakers that has just ended in Fusagasugá, Colombia. Let us give thanks for the nine wonderful peacemakers from Colombia, Argentina, India, Poland, Australia, Canada and United States who are joining Christian Peacemaker Teams in our worldwide mission to "build partnerships that transform violence and oppression."

Please pray for God's guidance for the new members of the CPT Corps as they discern new commitments with various CPT projects and navigate personal and organizational situations.

Graduates of the CPT training Colombia 2017

Graduates of the CPT training, Colombia 2017

COLOMBIA: Justice Denied

CPTnet

6 February 2017

COLOMBIA: Justice Denied 

by Kody Hersh 

Mid-January, 2017. I am about two weeks into a month-long stint as a reservist with the CPT Colombia team. I’ve visited the rural community of Guayabo, where campesino farmers and their families and communities have been embroiled in an extensive land claim struggle with the son of a former landowner. Though the actions of the people of Guayabo in defense of their land have been legal and nonviolent, local officials, who have sided with the claimant, Rodrigo Lopez Henao, throughout the process, issued arrest warrants several months ago for four community leaders. One, Álvaro García, was arrested at home at the crack of dawn. After going into hiding for six months, seeking legal help, and building a defense, the remaining three community leaders turned themselves in to the authorities. Most accusations against them were immediately dropped for lack of evidence, and they were allowed to return home until the case is resolved– but Álvaro has been held for eight months now, awaiting charges and a hearing at which his lawyers can petition for his release.

The CPT team has been visiting Álvaro regularly in jail in Barrancabermeja, which is several hours by boat from his family and community, and attending hearings in his case. I join my CPT teammate at a hearing in which Álvaro’s lawyers hope to conclude opening arguments and move closer to the point at which they can request his release. We wait an hour in a cramped reception area: Álvaro, two prison guards, several family and community members, lawyers from a Colombian human rights collective, my teammate and I. Álvaro reaches out with cuffed hands to shake mine when we are introduced. He sings the group a song he’s written in jail about the dignity of campesino work and importance of land justice. Finally the judge calls Álvaro, his guards, and the lawyers into another room. 

My teammate and I wait outside with Álvaro’s friends and family for about two hours, looking out over the city and the Magdalena River from the fourth floor balcony of the court building. Finally, Álvaro emerges, and the guards lead him back out of the building, to return to jail. His main lawyer joins our small group, shakes her head, and explains that completion of that day’s hearing has been postponed two weeks. She asked to continue the hearing within a few days; the judge denied the request.

Justice too long delayed… 

El Guayabo leader

El Guayabo leader, Eric Payares talks to a CPT delegation about their nonviolent resistance.(Caldwell Manners/CPT)